Eurostar urged to reconsider Stratford
The man in charge of regeneration in Newham has called for Stratford International to finally live up to its name.
Eurostar refuses to stop at the station, which was built in 2009, instead linking the Channel Tunnel route with Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
Director of regeneration at the council Clive Dutton said it was time that changed.
"It's a great new station but there are no international trains stopping there," he said.
"We're getting a lot of lobby support from the likes of Excel, Canary Wharf Group and the London Legacy Development Corporation to make sure the trains stop at Stratford. But Eurostar doesn't seem to get it."
Stratford International, which serves routes from Kent, was originally planned to link up with the Eurostar service, but the train firm decided demand was too low.
Eurostar said it would reassess its decision after the Olympics, while Deutsche Bahn's proposed London to Frankfurt route is a candidate for stopping at Stratford.
Mr Dutton added the council and the LLDC were also lobbying Transport for London to shift the zones to look more favourably on Stratford International, which is currently in Zone Three.
"We need to show it's necessary by saying 'when you come to Stratford you are in London'," he said.
The Newham director, who was speaking at a Docklands Business Club organised event at the Siemens' Crystal on Tuesday, also said the council was adamant about the importance of more river crossings in the region.
He specifically requested a tunnel at Gallions Reach.
"The cable car is a quick river crossing and the Silvertown Tunnel works will start in 2018/19 but we believe there should be a new tunnel at Gallions Reach," he said.
"Transport for London is looking at a ferry crossing there. We think there should be something more significant."
Mr Dutton added discussions were ongoing about funding but he conceded it might mean a toll.
"Knitting together the north-east of London to the south-east has to be done, otherwise there are effectively cul-de-sacs."